• The Easy Way To Save Cash In Wyoming

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    The hottest Michigan news story may be different everyday, but there’s one topic that seems to come up over and over again – the price of gas in Wyoming. If you feel like most of your paycheck goes into your gas tank, this post is for you. Here are several basic things  Wyoming drivers can do to greatly reduce their gas consumption, save money, and help the Wyoming environment. You can really improve your fuel economy by how you drive – but first, here’s a review of things you can do for your car that’ll save gas no matter how you drive.

    The first one for Wyoming motorists is keeping tires properly inflated. That can save two miles per gallon. Driving on low tires is like driving through sand – your car just has to work harder. Most Wyoming service centers will fill up your tires for free, so just ask your Bob & Dave’s Garagetech. Also, make a habit of checking your tire pressure whenever you fill up. Many Wyoming gas stations have an air hose you can use for free.

    Another important item is to keep your air filter clean. An air filter all clogged up with dirt and bugs doesn’t let enough clean air through to efficiently burn fuel. Using a dirty air filter will cost you almost two miles per gallon in reduced gas mileage. And worn spark plugs can cost another two. A spark plug can fire as many as 3,000,000 times for every thousand miles driven. Check the vehicle owner’s manual for replacement recommendations.

    The biggest item is the oxygen sensor. This device provides the engine management computer with critical information it needs to fine-tune the fuel/air mix. When that’s messed up it can cost Wyoming auto owners up to three miles per gallon. And of course, there’s dangerous dirty or substandard oil. Dirty oil causes extra drag. The wrong grade may be too thick. That’s another .4 miles per gallon right there.

    One item Wyoming residents seldom think about is their gas cap. A worn, loose or missing gas cap can cost another two miles per gallon. Adding up all of these worn, missing or sub-par items leads to a total of almost 11.4 miles per gallon in reduced fuel economy! And with current gas prices in the Wyoming area, the cost really adds up. Taking care of these simple maintenance items will save Wyoming motorists income at the pump. 

    Now most Wyoming motorists aren’t missing on all of these items, but think about which ones might affect you right now! And don’t forget tune-ups, dragging brakes, low transmission fluid, fuel system cleaning, wheels out of alignment, PCV valve, fuel filter and other essential services spelled out in your owners’ manual.

    Bob & Dave’s Garage knows all this stuff and can tell you when you’re scheduled to take care of each item. Create a system of your own to track your service schedules, or just use the computer system at Bob & Dave’s Garage – which may also be updated with recall notices and essential maintenance schedule items from your vehicle manufacturer.

  • Synthetic Oil For Wyoming Autos

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    If you aren’t currently using synthetic motor oil in your Wyoming vehicle, maybe now’s the time to consider it. Need more information? Well, synthetic motor oil is a substitute for petroleum based oil.

    Synthetic oil doesn’t gel or gum-up like petroleum based oil and it doesn’t vaporize as easily. It protects better in severe driving conditions like stop and go driving around Wyoming, as well as in very hot or very cold conditions. More and more new vehicles are being delivered with full synthetic motor oil; with the recommendation to use synthetic for the life of the vehicle.

    Why is this? Synthetic motor oil maximizes engine power and fuel economy. To see why; we’d need a microscope, so we’ll have to settle for using our imaginations.

    The molecules of conventional motor oil are long hydrocarbon chains. Synthetic motor oil, on the other hand, has uniform, round molecules. Which is more slippery, a pile of pencils or a pile of marbles?

    Synthetic motor oil lubricates better because there’s less friction. That means better wear protection, cooler operating temperatures, more power and better fuel economy. And synthetic oil doesn’t sludge up like conventional oil, so it prevents those small oil passages from clogging up.

    Some manufacturers are extending oil change intervals. The added protection of synthetic oil covers you for these longer intervals. Talk with your service advisor about how you drive and see if he thinks you can benefit from synthetic oil. Also ask about the appropriate oil change interval for synthetic, because it may very well be longer than for conventional oil.

    Most of us here in Wyoming have a busy life and might occasionally miss an oil change; go ahead admit it. Since we’re not perfect, doesn’t it make sense to use a motor oil that’s got your back?

    Now synthetic oil costs more. But it lasts longer, protects better and increases fuel economy. You’ll likely save money in the long run. If you’re serious about making your car last longer, start using synthetic motor oil right away.

    Give us a call at 616-532-7209 to schedule an oil change, or visit us at our Bob & Dave’s Garage website.

  • Gas Savings In Wyoming: Sharpen Your Pencil

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    High gas prices in Wyoming increase the cost of living for Michigan auto owners. You’ve probably budgeted a certain amount for vehicle related expenses. Increased fuel costs now consume a larger portion of our incomes, causing some Wyoming vehicle owners to skimp in other areas – like scheduled maintenance.

    According to Michigan news reports and automotive industry studies, this is becoming increasingly more common. In fact, nine out of ten personal vehicles on the road have at least one maintenance or repair item that hasn’t been done. Some of these items pose serious safety risks. Others are just more likely to make it more expensive to drive.

    Gas Savings In Wyoming: Sharpen Your PencilIn this area, we can take a lesson from professional Wyoming vehicle owners. I’m talking about fleet owners and operators. You know, Wyoming folks like the trucking companies and delivery services. Because their livelihood depends on it, they have gotten scheduled maintenance down to a science. And the last thing they skimp on is regular maintenance.

    Why is that? Well, for one thing they know that routine maintenance prevents expensive repairs and costly breakdowns. They also know that a well-maintained vehicle uses less fuel. For them, even a small decrease in fuel economy may put their Wyoming business in the red.

    So what does this mean to Wyoming drivers? Well, there’s a ninety percent chance that you’re missing some service that would improve your fuel economy. Here’s a quick reminder list:

    Fuel system cleaning, transmission service, differential service, engine air filter, wheel alignment, oil change, tune up.
    Ring any bells? Can most Wyoming motorists honestly say that there isn’t at least one thing on the list that hasn’t been done?

    Let’s suppose you chose to spend one hundred and fifty dollars and get caught up on some of these services at Bob & Dave’s Garage. Figure that they combine to improve your gas mileage by fifteen percent. What would that mean to your pocketbook?

    Well, the average personal vehicle in Wyoming is driven about twelve thousand miles a year. If you get twenty miles per gallon in your vehicle, over the course of one year you would pay for the hundred and fifty dollars worth of service and save an additional hundred and sixty five dollars if gas is at three dollars and fifty cents. If gas is four fifty, you would save two hundred and fifty-five dollars. And you’d rack up savings of three hundred and forty five dollars with gas at five and a half bucks.

    GAS PRICE
    $3.50
    $4.50
    $5.50
    20 MPG
    $165
    $255
    $345

    From this you can see that the more fuel costs, the more it pays to keep up on scheduled maintenance. Some of us drive trucks in Wyoming for work or recreation – or want a large SUV for family needs. A fifteen percent improvement in gas mileage can generate huge savings – six hundred and sixty dollars a year if gas is four fifty a gallon in Wyoming. Take a look at this table to see where your savings could lie.

    GAS PRICE $3.50 $4.50 $5.50
    10 MPG $480 $660 $840
    20 MPG $165 $255 $345
    30 MPG $60 $120 $180

     

    So catch up on those services you’ve been neglecting at Bob & Dave’s Garage. Get a couple done now and a couple next time. Chances are you’ll save a lot of money at Wyoming gas pumps this year – and a lot more on repairs in years to come.

     

     

  • Keep Your Wyoming Car Breathing Free: Engine Air Filter

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    Hey Wyoming drivers – this is something really amazing: For every gallon of gas your vehicle burns, it uses 12,000 gallons of air. All of that air has to be filtered to keep your engine clean.

    That’s like a hundred gallons of air every block! The engine air filter is just another example of a very key but inexpensive part that has to do a tremendous amount of work. And when it works, everything goes well. But, when it doesn’t, well, it can lead to costly problems. Of course, your auto manufacturer recommends how often to change your air filter. But like most service intervals, where and how you drive your car in Michigan affects when your filter needs to be changed.

    Dusty conditions around Wyoming or polluted city driving means you’ll need to change your filter more often. Your committed to excellence, fairness and customer service Bob & Dave’s Garage service advisor can check your filter for you. In fact, it’s often a routine part of an oil change.

    When you think about it, a clogged air filter won’t allow as much air through as a clean filter. Your vehicle needs this air to efficiently burn its fuel, giving you better fuel efficiency and performance.

    Dirtier filters don’t work as well as clean ones. A filter can only hold so much, after that, it allows dirt to pass right into your engine. Air filters come in all shapes and sizes. They also come in different grades. There are high performance air filters available for most cars. These high performance filters are a little more costly in Wyoming, but they increase horsepower and may improve fuel economy to boot.

    So it’s important for Wyoming auto owners to have their air filter checked. If it needs replacing, it doesn’t cost very much at Bob & Dave’s Garage in Wyoming and it should easily pay for itself in better gas mileage before your next oil change.

    Stop by Bob & Dave’s Garage at 2863 Byron Center Ave, Wyoming, Michigan 49519, and we’ll take a look at your air filter for you. Feel free to give us a call at 616-532-7209 to make an appointment.

    Bob & Dave’s Garage
    2863 Byron Center Ave
    Wyoming, Michigan 49519
    616-532-7209

  • Keeping Your Car Young In Wyoming

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    As Wyoming consumers, we live in a disposable society. It’s amazing all the stuff we throw away.

    New stuff comes out so fast in Michigan, and much of it is fairly cheap, so we just toss the old and move on. It seems like when we were kids in Wyoming, our parents were real sticklers about taking care of our stuff – especially parents who grew up in the Depression. You know, hang up your clothes, polish your shoes, put away your toys. If something got lost or ruined by neglect, tough, we had to do without. 

    Wyoming motorists couldn’t afford new cars very often, so we tried to make them last as long as we could. It’s a good thing that cars are more reliable these days. They just don’t break down as often. And the good news for us Wyoming penny pinchers is that a modern car can easily go 200,000 miles with proper care. The engineering’s there and so is the manufacturing quality. The missing ingredient is us making sure we follow the car maker’s maintenance schedules.

    Is it really that bad for Wyoming motorists to get off schedule? Well, it all adds up. Every time you go a couple thousand extra miles between oil changes, you’ve created an opportunity for dangerous sludge to form and clog passages. Then some parts don’t get oiled and they start to wear out faster. 

    Skip a cooling system service, and the corrosion inhibitors become depleted, and the radiator starts being damaged – one step closer to a failure. The same thing is true for transmission service, power brakes, fuel system cleaning – really everything on your schedule.

    It’s also even more important for older vehicles in the Wyoming area. Those engines and other systems have had more time to get dirty, so they’re working harder anyway. But it’s never too late for Wyoming drivers to get back on track with essential maintenance and to hold off further costly damage.

    It’s just another example of our parents knowing what’s best. (Surprising how often that happens.) And it really does start with the oil change, just like Dad said. When you get a full service oil change they top off all your fluids and check for other items that are on your maintenance schedule. That’s like your safety net; go in for oil changes on time, and let your service professional at Bob & Dave’s Garage in Wyoming help you keep track of the rest.

    Of course, it is inevitable for Wyoming auto owners that some things are going to wear out along the way – key stuff like alternators, water pumps and such – they don’t last forever. But that stuff is cheaper than a new car payment. And taking care of problems early means they have less time to cause other problems. It’s like having high cholesterol; you don’t want to wait for a heart attack before you address it.

    Bob & Dave’s Garage
    2863 Byron Center Ave
    Wyoming, Michigan 49519
    616-532-7209

  • Can Your Car Last Another Year?

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    Have you checked out the price of new vehicles at Wyoming car dealers? Ouch! Add financing and insurance and – well a new ride may not seem so attractive. A lot of Wyoming, Michigan folks are hoping to make their cars last a lot longer.

    Fortunately, with the current state of automotive engineering and manufacturing, there’s no reason a modern vehicle can’t be made to last for a 150,000 miles or more for smart Wyoming drivers.

    The old adage: ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ is really true for Wyoming auto owners when it comes to car maintenance. A great example is coolant service.

    Over time, coolant becomes corrosive and actually starts to damage your radiator and other parts. Smart Wyoming motorists have their cooling system service taken care of right on schedule.

    Ditto for your power steering system, brake fluid, air conditioning system, differential and transmission. Of course, oil changes should be done right on schedule to avoid the build-up of harmful oil sludge.

    Don’t let your brake pads go too long before they are worn to the point that your rotors are at risk. Preventative auto maintenance at Bob & Dave’s Garage is a great way to keep your operating costs down in Wyoming.

    Replacing belts and hoses is much cheaper than repairing the costly damage that can be caused by failure.

    We know that this is a lot for busy Wyoming area drivers to remember. Let the team of automotive professionals at Bob & Dave’s Garage keep on top of this stuff for you. We can tell you what your vehicle manufacturer recommends and help you develop an affordable plan to take care of it.

    Bottom line – do routine maintenance on schedule and you will reduce operating costs, prevent pricey repairs and maintain your warranty coverage. Call Bob & Dave’s Garage today for an appointment; you can reach us at 616-532-7209.

    Let us take good care of your car at Bob & Dave’s Garage in Wyoming, and it’ll take good care of you.

    Bob & Dave’s Garage
    Give us a call today at 616-532-7209.
    Or stop by at 2863 Byron Center Ave, Wyoming, Michigan 49519

  • Busting Automotive Myths In Wyoming Michigan

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    Myths passed around our Wyoming Michigan community start with a grain of evidence and are then built up with a lot of imagination and very elastic logic. And the internet is a breeding ground for automotive myths. Some bloggers recall the vehicles of yesteryear and declare their modern decedents to be virtually maintenance free and that anyone who says otherwise is out to rip you off.

    To get the truth about auto myths you hear around the Wyoming area, come over to Bob & Dave’s Garage.
    You’ll find us at 2863 Byron Center Ave, Wyoming, Michigan 49519.
    Give us a call at 616-532-7209 to make an appointment for your next auto service.

    Let’s examine a couple of the more popular rants and look at the truth behind them.

    The first one is that the chassis no longer needs lubrication for suspension, steering and the driveline. They declare that anyone who has charged you for lubrication is a charlatan.

    The truth on which this myth is based is that many new cars come from the factory with sealed joints and cannot be greased. However, there are still some grease points on many cars around Wyoming. A grease fitting may have been installed in conjunction with a repair. And most trucks and truck-based SUVs driving in Wyoming still require chassis lubrication. This is because they are more heavy duty and proper greasing is still required to keep them going.

    Another common rant you’ll hear around Wyoming is that modern cars don’t need tune-ups. That depends on your definition of a ‘tune-up’, which has changed as technology has progressed. Before engine control computers, electronic ignition and fuel injection, a tune up meant replacing mechanical parts that wore out. Bob & Dave’s Garage would manually adjust fuel and air mix and timing. When these adjustments were off, spark plugs would foul and need to be replaced.

    This definition just doesn’t apply to modern vehicles. Service centers like Bob & Dave’s Garage generally consider a tune-up to be the major service visit, recommended by your manufacturer, every 30,000 miles or so.

    Of course you can’t lubricate a sealed joint. Of course you can’t adjust a carburetor if your car doesn’t have one. You probably don’t need to change spark plugs every year if your manufacturer says they can go 30,000 miles. What are these bloggers getting so worked up about?

    The danger with these modern-day myths, is that they prevent people in our local Wyoming community from taking care of the routine preventive auto maintenance that manufactures recommend. Check out this partial list of things you still need to do to take care of your car. How many of them are really any different today than they were 20 or 30 years ago?

    Oil change, cooling system service, transmission service, tire balancing, tire rotation, wheel alignment, suspension service, power steering service, proper tire inflation, brake service, differential service, battery maintenance, engine air filer, PCV valve, breather element, fuel filter, belts, hoses, timing belt, windshield wipers . . .

    You get the picture. Your vehicle is still a machine that needs to be maintained. And, hey, your service advisors at Bob & Dave’s Garage have always adapted to keep pace with automotive technology. Next time you come across an angry voice about your car care, talk to your Wyoming service advisor at Bob & Dave’s Garage, or do some research of your own.

  • Training Received by Technicians In Wyoming, Michigan

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    When your car breaks down in the Wyoming, Michigan area, or just needs some routine service, it can make Wyoming car owners a little nervous. Because your car’s so important to your life, you need to be back on the road as soon as possible. And with the problem fixed right the first time.

    We’ve been checking into some of the important training our Wyoming Michigan technicians receive, and we’re very impressed. It’s amazing how much knowledge and skill goes into diagnosing and repairing a modern car. So it’s not like when your uncle worked on his hot rod over weekend.

    Today there are four cylinder engines around Wyoming that make more power than the V-8’s in luxury cars 20 years ago. A new V-6 Toyota Camry could beat Sonny Crocket’s Ferrari in a race to 60 mph.

    Our engines are more and more powerful and at the same time their fuel efficiency keeps inching up. And they’re so reliable. This is all due to engineering. But the benefits come to Wyoming auto owners at the price of simplicity. Modern cars are so much more complex from a mechanical standpoint that it makes your head spin.

    Then there’s the electronics. Some cars on Michigan freeways area have several networked computers controlling most of the engine functions and many other vehicle functions as well. Wyoming auto owners take all of this sophistication for granted – but somebody has to fix it when it breaks.

    It’s a real challenge for the service professionals at  Bob & Dave’s Garage and other Wyoming auto service centers to keep up. It requires a high level of commitment on the part of the auto technician and the service center as well. In addition to the training, there’s the financial commitment to purchase the diagnostic and repair tools as well.

    So where do Wyoming techs go for training? There’re many sources. It’s usually a combination of formal classroom training, training provided in the service center by auto parts and equipment manufacturers, on-line courses and home study courses. There are many independent certifications available all the way up to Master Technician.

    And AutoNetTV produces monthly training for Wyoming automotive service centers called The Pro Channel. If you were to watch the Pro Channel segment on re-flashing the engine control computer, you’d be amazed at how much is involved: special software, hardware interfaces and a tremendous amount of knowledge and skill.

    Service centers in Wyoming, Michigan have a lot of other resources available as well. No one can know everything, so service centers like Bob & Dave’s Garage subscribe to data services, technical libraries and even on-line communities that can help them with they run into a difficult problem.

    It’s like those medical diagnosis shows on TV. Here are the symptoms – what’s the diagnosis and treatment. Diagnosis is every bit as much an art as a science. Wyoming drivers want everything to be simple, straight forward and cheap – and sometimes it just isn’t.

    So, be more relaxed next time you take your vehicle in. Wyoming motorists can trust their committed to excellence, fairness and customer service Bob & Dave’s Garage techs. You’re in good hands. The more you know, the more comfortable you can be with your automotive service decisions at Bob & Dave’s Garage. Visit AutoNetTV.com to see more great auto tips videos about many service topics.

    At Bob & Dave’s Garage, we provide quality automotive service including auto repair, auto repair and auto repair.<br><br>

  • Bob & Dave’s Garage Maintenance Tips: The Belt Goes On

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    Today’s Bob & Dave’s Garage auto maintenance article focuses on your serpentine belt. Your serpentine belt is a long belt that’s driven by your engine. It winds around several accessories that power important automotive systems. Let’s go over them.

    First, the serpentine belt drives your vehicle air conditioning system. It spins the compressor that makes the cool air that takes the edge off the summer heat in Wyoming.

    Next, the belt powers the alternator. The alternator creates electricity that’s used by your vehicle’s electrical systems and also charges your car battery. Bob & Dave's Garage Maintenance Tips The Belt Goes OnAll Wyoming drivers know that without the alternator, the battery will go dead in a few miles.

    The serpentine belt may also run the pumps for both the power steering and power brakes. And, on many vehicles, the serpentine belt powers the water pump. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine to keep it within normal operating temperatures for Wyoming auto owners. (On some vehicles, the water pump is powered by the timing belt instead of the serpentine belt.)

    So you can see the serpentine belt does a lot of work. And it if breaks, it affects a lot of systems. That’s why car makers and your service advisor at Bob & Dave’s Garage have recommended that it be changed every so often so that it doesn’t fail.

    Your
    Bob & Dave’s Garage service advisor can perform a visual inspection of the belt to see if it has any cracks that signal the belt could fail soon and will measure the amount of belt material to make sure there is enough.

    Your serpentine belt works in tandem with a spring loaded pulley attached to the engine called the tensioner pulley. Its job is to make sure there’s a constant tension on the serpentine belt so that it doesn’t slip. The spring can become worn and no longer provide the necessary pressure to keep the belt tight. At Bob & Dave’s Garage, we recommend that the tensioner be replaced at the same time as the serpentine belt.

    All in all, the serpentine belt’s a critical part for the function of your vehicle.
    And it’s not that expensive to replace at Bob & Dave’s Garage – so bring in your vehicle if it hasn’t been checked in a while.

  • The Importance Of Wyoming Drivers Following Service Intervals

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    Today in our Bob & Dave’s Garage blog, we’re going to talk about following recommended service intervals. Your vehicle isn’t the only aspect of your life in Wyoming with recommended intervals: Let’s start with twice yearly dental check-ups and regular physical exams. How about laundry, watering the lawn and paying the bills?

    Now, what would happen if you didn’t follow these intervals? Well, you’d get more cavities. You’d may not discover health conditions that could be more effectively treated with early detection. And you’d have to wear dirty clothes, be embarrassed by your brown lawn and have your utilities shut off.

    The Importance Of Wyoming Drivers Following Service IntervalsClearly, there are some things in life that we have to take care of regularly. If we don’t, there are negative consequences. Our quality of life in Wyoming takes a hit and it inevitably costs more money.

    So why is it so hard to remember to follow regular preventive maintenance on our vehicles? Probably a couple of reasons. One is that automotive maintenance items just don’t seem that urgent. All our Wyoming neighbors can see our dead lawn, but no one knows how dirty our transmission fluid is. It’s easy to put off. The other reason is that we’re just not as familiar with automotive maintenance, so it’s a bit intimidating.

    From a practical standpoint, Wyoming people don’t need to memorize their vehicle owner’s manuals. You can let your Bob & Dave’s Garage advisor remind you of the guidelines established by auto makers: he has checklists of what the manufacturer recommends and can find potential problems when he inspects your vehicle. You really can rely on Bob & Dave’s Garage professionals to help you make good automotive decisions.

    For Wyoming drivers who want to be more proactive with their vehicle care, here are some simple ways for Wyoming motorists to remember what has a maintenance interval.

    First: Fluids. If it’s liquid, it’s got a replacement schedule. Oil, transmission fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, differential fluid, etc.

    Then think tires. They need air, rotation, balancing, and alignment. And while you’re thinking tires, don’t forget brakes and shock absorbers.

    And what makes your vehicle go? Air and fuel. Air filter replacement, fuel filters and fuel system cleaning. Of course there are more items, but if Wyoming car owners remember to take their car or truck in to Bob & Dave’s Garage for these things, their service advisor will help them with the rest.

    And if you don’t follow recommended service intervals? You get lousy fuel efficiency, your vehicle doesn’t run as well, your safety is compromised and you’ll spend more money in the long run. So it’s the same as everything else: The quality of your motoring life takes a hit and it ends up costing you more.

    Reason enough for me to follow recommended service intervals.